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Pediatr Neurosurg. 2010 Aug;46(2):101-9. doi: 10.1159/000319006. Epub 2010 Jul 20.

Clinical factors associated with intracranial complications after pediatric traumatic head injury: an observational study of children submitted to a neurosurgical referral unit.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Lund University Hospital and Lund University, Lund, Sweden.



Clinically validated guidelines for the management of head injury in children do not exist, and the treatment is often based upon adult management routines. In order to examine the safety of this procedure, an analysis of clinical factors associated with complications after pediatric head injury was attempted.


We performed a descriptive retrospective study, including patients who received any S06 diagnosis during treatment in the Neurointensive Care Unit at Lund University Hospital between 2002 and 2007. One hundred children were included during the 6 years.


During 6 years, 100 children with head injury needed neurointensive care or neurosurgery for their injury in southern Sweden. Traffic accidents (50%) were the main cause of head trauma, followed by falls (36%). Thirty-two percent of all children were injured in bicycle and motorcycle accidents. Both loss of consciousness and amnesia were absent in 23% of the children with intracranial injury. Seven children with intracranial injury, 6 of them requiring neurosurgery, were classed as having minimal head injury according to the Head Injury Severity Scale (HISS). Interesting differences in intracranial injuries between helmet users and nonusers were observed.


Children with minimal head injuries (according to HISS) may develop intracranial complications and may even require neurosurgical intervention. Hence, the HISS classification, as well as other risk classifications based upon unconsciousness and amnesia, are unreliable in children.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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